Early Breast Cancer: Histopathology, Diagnosis and Treatment

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March 23 and 24, 1983 saw the fIrst international symposium held under the auspices of the Wilhelm Vaillant Foundation for the Advancement of Pro- phylactic Medicine in the I. Frauenklinik der Ludwig Maximilians Univer- sitiit Miinchen. This symposium was concerned with Advances in Early Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer and brought together patholo- gists, gynecologists,and radiologists from Denmark, England,France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the German Democratic Republic, and the Federal Republic of Germany. The fIrst session dealt with problems concerned with the biology, patho- genesis, and histopathology of early carcinoma of the breast, with special reference to the clinical aspects. The second session was taken up with topi- cal developments in the early diagnosis of breast carcinoma and indicated the present limitations of early diagnosis. In the third session the latest results of the experiences by groups working on the treatment of early carci- noma of the breast in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States of America, and the Federal Republic of Germany were discussed. The main emphasis lay on conservative treatment methods with complete or partial preservation of the breast. These vary quite widely. Some of the conclusions presented on the basis of long-term clinical studies must be regarded as signifIcant breakthroughs, and at the stage these have reached they must no longer be overlooked. The symposium has highlighted numerous unsolved problems and made it clear that conflicting opinions abound.